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Thursday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time. The reading is from Gospel of Matthew 7:21-23.

The Conversion of the Proconsul. Painting by Raphael, 1515. (Elymas the Magician is struck blind before Sergius Paulus.)

The True Disciple – Matthew 7:21-23

[Jesus said to his disciples:]

“Not everyone who says to me,
‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

Many will say to me on that day,
‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’

Then I will declare to them solemnly,
‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’

Jesus continues and broadens his attack on the false prophets to include those disciples who perform works of healing and exorcism in his name but live evil lives. He tells them that entrance into the kingdom is only for those who do the will of the Father.

  • “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
  • “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command?” (Luke 6:46)
  • The Lord said: Since this people draws near with words only and honors me with their lips alone, though their hearts are far from me, And fear of me has become mere precept of human teaching, (Isaiah 29:13)

On the day of judgment (on that day) he will refuse to acknowledge the morally corrupt prophets and miracle workers will be rejected by him. Compare

  • Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’ (Matthew 7:22-23)

with

  • Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’ (Matthew 25:11–12)
  • And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where [you] are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ (Luke 13:26-27)
  • Away from me, all who do evil! The LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. (Psalms 6:9)

Elymas the Magician

Here is an interesting account in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 13 of Elymas, a Jewish Magician, also known as Bar-Jesus (Aramaic Bar-Yeshua, latin Bariesu).

Acts of the Apostles 13:6-12

When they had traveled through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a magician named Bar-Jesus who was a Jewish false prophet.

He was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who had summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God.

But Elymas the magician (for that is what his name means) opposed them in an attempt to turn the proconsul away from the faith.

But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all that is right, full of every sort of deceit and fraud. Will you not stop twisting the straight paths of [the] Lord? Even now the hand of the Lord is upon you. You will be blind, and unable to see the sun for a time.”

Immediately a dark mist fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand.

When the proconsul saw what had happened, he came to believe, for he was astonished by the teaching about the Lord.

After this event, Sergius Paulus was converted to Christianity.

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